Story Quest – Dragon’s Cave

Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!

In this episode we bring Olly’s story – Dragon’s Cave – to life.

If you have a story idea, you could be like Olly and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!

That’s just what Olly did. You can watch the story he suggested come to life below, plus he tells us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.

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Read along to Dragon’s Cave!

You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time.

The realm of Dagnavor had once been plagued with dragons – gigantic beasts would swoop down with fire springing from their snouts picking off the townspeople – it was a terrifying time but thanks to the Knights of the court it had more or less come to an end. 

It came to a point where there was just one dragon left but try as the people might, they could not track him down.  He was called Dedalous and rumour had it that he was the most fearsome of them all.

The Queen offered great riches and rewards to anyone who could slay Dedalous but try as they might no knight succeeded and the townsfolk lived anxiously waiting for the next attack.  They waited and waited wondering each day if this would be the day of Dedalous’s return.

Tebald, a young knight, like others had tried to seek out the dragon – after all who doesn’t want riches and rewards?  But he too had failed. But as he was about to find out sometimes we find things we want – when we stop looking.

It was just a normal autumn afternoon and he’d taken his horse Skylark for a canter through the forest – it was close to the castle near some craggy rocks.  As he passed the rocks he noticed that there was an opening.  He’d not seen that before – and he’d come this way many times.  So that was strange.  He dismounted his horse and peered into the gloom.  There was a low rumble coming from somewhere inside.  What could that be?  Maybe you’ve figured it out already but Tebald wasn’t the brightest knight and just thought that he should investigate.

And I should tell you that investigating dark caves isn’t a very good idea – especially if you are on your own but the Knight – even though he wasn’t the smartest – did something very sensible at this point – he took a ball of twine and tied it to a tree close to the entrance of the cave – as he went further into the darkness he unwound the twine – this meant that if he got lost he would be able to follow it back to the entrance.  The narrow passageway went on for ages and twisted and turned this way and that – it was dark and damp and the rumbling grew louder – and louder and LOUDER…

He was almost out of twine when he turned a corner and ROOOAARRRR!  There was a FLASH of fire and the Knight could see a DRAGON in the darkness – it was Dedalous! He jumped in terror and realising he’d foolishly left his sword on Skylark’s saddle scrabbled on the floor and brandished an old dragon claw, (which was the size of a small dog) at the dragon.

“At last!” boomed the dragon – puffing small excited bursts of fire into the dark.  “Help has arrived! I’ve been stuck in this blooming cave for EVER!”

This was NOT the response that Tebald had expected.

“I thought dragons loved a good cave – usually you get them lounging over a load of gold and treasure!”

Tebald looked around.  There wasn’t any treasure to be seen.

“I just thought the cave might be a cosy place to doze but then I got lost didn’t I? My treasure’s still in my nest – or at least I hope it still is.  It’s pretty well hidden.”

“Where’s your nest?”

“Hmm?” Dedalous looked vague – “Oh not far ahem… no need for you to know THAT is there – although you’re stuck here too now so I don’t suppose it matters…

“I’m not stuck!” said Tebald – “I have a way to get out of this cave.”

“What way?” said Dedalous curiously.

Tebald decided that telling the dragon about the twine might mean he ended up being dinner and so he just retorted “there’s no need for you to know that” and the dragon looked very peevish.  Tebald had a think and then came up with an idea.

“Look – how about we do a deal?  I’ll get you out of this cave if you give me some of your treasure.”

“I don’t want to give you any of my treasure.”

“Well YOU don’t like being in the cave!”

This was true and after a small huff, which made green smoke come out of his snout he extended a claw and they shook on it.  In the glimmering gloom the dragon couldn’t see the twine as Tebald carefully felt it in his hands, following the route back to the entrance.  It took a very long time and the dragon must have got fatter from when he came into the cave because he had to squeeze himself through some tight spots but eventually they made it out into the cool evening air.

“I’m free!” roared the dragon and delightedly blew a very large flame – gently singe-ing Tebald’s hair in the process.  “Oops, sorry about that.  Where’s all that string come from?”

Tebald explained his trick – after all Dedalous didn’t seem to be interested in eating him at all, he was too pleased to be free of the cave and Tebald found that even though his sword was back in his hand – he couldn’t quite bring himself to have a fight with this big dozy dragon.

And, Dedalous was as good as his word – he took Tebald on his back and after a luxurious stretch of his wings flapped them and rising into the air, carried him to a nest at the top of a very tall Oak tree.

And the nest – wow!  It was enormous and filled with rubies and gold, diamond encrusted armour and sapphire trimmed swords and daggers.

“Take whatever you can carry” said the dragon.  “I’d forgotten how uncomfortable it all is to sit on.  Why do valuable things have to be so POINTY?”

“Just checking – when I get back to the castle you won’t start eating everyone again will you?” said Tebald, cautiously.

Tebald shook his head – “ I thought you would have noticed – I’ve gone off humans – I’d rather have a bat these days.  I’ll keep out of your way if you keep out of mine – OK? Humans just make you so … bloaty – gassy – you know?”

Tebald did not know but reassured began to dive into the treasure.  That would explain why Deadalous hadn’t been around – he’d just realised he was human intolerant.  (A lot of very sensible people are I reckon but that’s another matter.)

Tebald eagerly took the jewel covered armour, and the sword and filled his pockets with golden coins and precious stones.  At the last minute before Dedalous was set to carry him home he grabbed a golden crown and shoved it over his helmet.  And then he grabbed another crown and shoved it on top of the first.

“I think that’s enough crowns” observed Dedalous, rolling his scarlet eyes as Tebald’s hand hovered over a third.  And with that they set off.

The dragon dropped Tebald off in a clearing close to the castle and with a small bow returned to the air and Tebald was left alone, dripping in diamonds and golden armour.  And the crowns.  You can’t forget about the crowns.  He was never seen again by Tebald or the townsfolk.

And when Tebald knocked on the castle door and asked to see the Queen the court erupted in excitement and cheers – they’d never seen so much bling on one small knight and so they knew something must have happened.

“See here – the claw of the terrifying dragon Dedalous!  I have slain him and reaped my reward!” he shouted holding up the dragon’s broken claw so everyone could see.  He made a gift of one of the crowns and a bowlful of diamonds to the queen and in return she proclaimed that he would be given the highest honours in the land.  So it’s safe to say that he lived happily ever after.  And so did everyone else, relieved that the Last Dragon of Dagnavor had been slain.

And what about Dedalous? Well after a while he got tired of sitting on his nest – the diamonds were so stony and pointy – and he decided he might actually quite like being back in the cave.  After all it was quite cosy.  But this time he remembered Tebald’s trick and even though it was difficult with his claws – used a trail of twine to make sure he’d never get lost again.  He spent peaceful nights snoring in a rumbling thunderous way, occasionally returning to his nest to check on the treasure.

And if the nearby villagers heard a distant rumble well – it must be thunder – right?  I mean – the last dragon had been slain by the valiant Tebald hadn’t it?  Well, WE know the truth but I won’t tell if you won’t!  And that’s the story of the Last Dragon of Dagnavor!

Do you have a story you want to hear made into a Story Quest?

We’d love to hear from you, submit your idea here and maybe we’ll be hearing you on Story Quest soon.

And you can listen to more Story Quest stories here.

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